I myself have reasons for . . . confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more. (Phil. 3:4)

IT WAS THE PERFECT MATCH. Or, at least it seemed so. Have you ever known a married couple that appeared to be an ideal pair? They shared the same interests and hobbies; had similar upbringings; were on complementary career tracks; and wanted the same number of kids, pets, vacations, and cars. They even looked great together. And then . . . it wasn’t. What appeared to be absolute perfection did not measure up; it did not equal happiness.

When Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, he dispelled any thoughts they might have had that a stellar religious résumé would be sufficient in their walk with Christ. He assured them that his own credentials and accomplishments were pristine and, at the same time, meaningless when compared to the righteousness of Jesus. In fact, Paul further told us that no comparison could be made. Any righteousness we are able to achieve comes only through fellowship with and faith in Christ.

It may be a difficult concept for us to grasp. How can something that looks so good be wrong? Happy, successful marriages need certain secret ingredients like a bit of fun, shared faith, good communication, an enduring commitment, and more. Likewise, healthy faith requires much more than a laundry list of good works. Those good works are good only when they come from a loving relationship with our Lord.

Plan daily to spend thirty more minutes with God’s Word.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom. She is also a cheer booster, 4-H leader, church secretary, reader, and traveler.